Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A darker and drearier Midsummer’s Day than yesterday can scarcely be imagined or remembered. Today is no better. I think a novena to St Swithin (July 15) is in order.

Here’s the Aran sweater, photographed indoors because it’s raining out there. Now comes the fun part.

I finished all but the strap last night, and polished that off during my osteoporosis-pill-half-hour this morning. I’d have got it done during the half-hour, too, but for a wrong-way cross which involved some frogging.

Thanks to Tamar, I was able to go straight to my account of setting in the sleeves of the Grandson, February 22, 2010. Most interesting, including your comments. The first thing I wanted to know was whether I had sewn the reinforcements by hand, or had struggled with the machine.

The answer is, by hand, and moreover I expressed gratitude to one of you for suggesting that I do it that way. So that settles that one. My own remarks remind me of the wisdom of stopping and switching to sock-knitting whenever I find myself getting tense and anxious.

Watch this space. The fact that the Grandson has held up well is encouraging.


Mrs Hussain was in the shop yesterday – she isn’t there very often – and interested in talking about cookery, so I raised the Good King Henry problem. A certain amount of confusion as to what I meant by – how I was pronouncing – “bathua”, but she got it and we had an interesting conversation on the subject.

She has a friend who plucks it from the weeds in her garden – that’ll be Fat Hen. Mrs Hussain wouldn’t trust herself to recognise the leaves. (My husband thinks it’s Fat Hen that I’m growing. He isn’t often wrong on such matters, but he is this time. Fat Hen, as I’ve said here before, is chenopodium album; Good King Henry is ch. bonus-henricus.)

She suggested that I bring some leaves of it back, and we’ll see what her husband thinks. Unlike her, he grew up in Pakistan (and is interested in food). He is more likely to be able to say whether the taste is the same, or similar enough. Cultivated sorrel and wild sorrel taste pretty well the same. Why not Good King Henry and Fat Hen?

I feel we’re making progress.


  1. I love that center panel on the sweater. I'll have to look back and see where you found it. I am fascinated with your Good King Henry and Fat Hen, now.

  2. You are certainly making progress on that jumper. A prize-winner in the making.

  3. Anonymous5:00 PM

    The sweater is progressing admirably, and I look forward to your further culinary investigations of GKH/FH.

    If you'd spent the solstice here you would have been treated to temperatures of 102F.

    -- Gretchen

  4. Anonymous5:50 PM

    The sweater looks super fabulous! I'm sure there is a prize waiting for you at the Games.

    Oh, and that was me yesterday with the comment about black/white Zauberball. Forgot to sign my post.

    Beverly in NJ